Asteroid Mining - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Space Sciences

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 5 pages of information about Asteroid Mining.
This section contains 1,253 words
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Mining Concepts

The choice of mining and processing methods is driven by what and how much is desired, difficulty of separation, duration of mining season, and propulsion demands in returning the product to the nominated orbit. Minimization of project cost and technical risk, together with maximization of returns in a short timeframe, will be major factors in project planning.

If the required product is water, which can be used as the propellant for the return journey, underground rather than surface mining will be required because of the dryness of the asteroid surface. Some sort of tunnelborer will be needed, or a large-diameter auger-type drill. If the product is nickel-iron metal sand, surface regolith collection by scraping or shoveling is indicated. Surface reclaim is threatened by problems of containment and anchoring. In situ volatilization (melting and vaporizing ice at the bottom of a drill hole for extraction as steam...

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This section contains 1,253 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Asteroid Mining Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Space Sciences
Asteroid Mining from Macmillan Science Library: Space Sciences. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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